By Jan Bergemann

Published October 9, 2020


When HB 841 [FS 718.112(2)(d)2.] was enacted in 2018, we saw, for the first time, that legislators actually enacted term limits for condominium board members here in Florida.


This was the actual wording of the bill regarding this topic: “A board member may not serve more than 8 consecutive years unless approved by an affirmative vote of unit owners representing two-thirds of all votes cast in the election or unless there are not enough eligible candidates to fill the vacancies on the board at the time of the vacancy.”


From the discussions at the committee meetings hearing this bill it was pretty obvious that the legislators intended to make this provision retro-active. But the actual wording failed to make it clear.


And as soon as the bill was enacted the big so-called “association law firms” challenged the wording claiming that the provision couldn’t be enforced retro-actively.


The reason: These firms were afraid that the provision would remove many of the long-term board member “friends” from office and that they would no longer be able to serve on their boards, meaning they could no longer sign their checks.


And as we all know only too well, new boards often change law firms – see recalls. More than 90% of new boards change the law firm and the management company as soon as they take over after a successful recall.


And the law firms succeeded -- to the dismay of many condo owners. Now the actual date when this provision first becomes effective is 2026. WHAT A SHAME!


Because of the apathy of many condo-owners it is often very difficult to change boards, even if they are useless and create dictatorial rules. A wide majority of condo-owners only start participating in condo business after they received a demand for payment of a special assessment in the amount of thousands of dollars. But then it’s normally too late to make any changes.


Condo owners have to realize that being a condo owner in Florida doesn’t mean “EASY LIVING” as advertised, but that bad board decisions can ruin their private finances real fast.

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Jan Bergemann Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!


CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.


The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.

Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.

We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !

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